FFA Cup Quarter Finals Preview – Match day 2

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Westfield FFA Cup 2015 Quarter Finals – Match Day 2 Fixtures

HEIDELBERG UNITED (VIC)​​ VS​​ MELBOURNE CITY (VIC)

Heidelberg United and Melbourne City will each endeavor to become the third Victorian side into the FFA Cup semi-finals when they clash at Olympic Park on Tuesday night. Despite heading into the match as underdogs Heidelberg have made all the headlines in the lead up, following the signing of former Greece captain Kostas Katsouranis. The Bergers have also spent what is reported to have been upwards of $50,000 on their stadium, with the club hoping 6,000 fans will attend the match.

Holding midfielder Katsouranis brings an illustrious career to the NPL side, having captained Greece at last year’s World Cup and playing in his country’s 2004 European Cup triumph. Katsouranis has been brought in as a one-match replacement for goal-machine Dan Heffernan, who has been signed by Central Coast. The thirty-six year old has heaped praise on his new teammates, telling Fairfax that a “full-time environment could see these players get to the level of the A-League.”

And that is the level they will need to perform at if they are to overcome City, who have seemingly been happy to let their opponents soak up the limelight. Having made a glut of signings early in the off-season City have since been building quietly, with John van’t Schip’s men looking to add a level of consistency to their performance which it has lacked in previous campaigns. With a plethora of attacking options the Melbournians found the net five times in their round of 16 clash against Wellington. However despite the short-distance they will have to travel this will be a true away crowd for City, particularly if Heidelburg can draw their desired crowd numbers. This will be a genuine test of City’s commitment and consistency, with the hungry Heidelberg sure to make life difficult for the favourites.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

1. Kostas Katsouranis: Linked with the club through his manager’s friendship with a member of Heidelberg’s committee, the decorated Greek international is a massive coup for the ambitious Bergers. Will play at the base of midfield early, but may be deployed in a more creative role should his side hold their share of possession.

 2. Aaron Mooy: The stocks of City’s marquee man continue to grow, having been again selected in the Australian squad midweek. With three goals in the tournament already to his name Mooy will relish the chance to go head to head with Katsouranis in midfield.

 3. Kaine Sheppard: The Heidelberg forward has publicly played the ‘underdog card’, telling 442 that “City will be under more pressure” than the home side. Sheppard will be without his strike partner Dan Heffernan, who has moved to the A-League. As a player holding the same ambition, Sheppard has a chance to catch the eye of clubs looking to finalise their squads ahead of the A-League season.

 4. Bruno Fornaroli: Despite having found the net on his Melbourne City debut, the Uruguayan forward is still a relative unknown to Australian football. The ‘Prickly Pear’ is expected to start again, so this is another chance for him to showcase his ability before the beginning of the A-League season.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Olympic Village, Heidelberg West (VIC)

Kick-off: 8:00pm local (8:00pm AEST)

Referee: Strebre Delovski

Assistant Referee 1Brad Hobson

Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero

Fourth Official: Luke Brennan

AAR 1: Lucien Laverdure

AAR 2: Jonathan Barreiro

 

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:30pm (AEST)

Radio Broadcast: 3XY (1422AM)

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #HFCvMCY

Heidelberg United squad: 1.Jason KOUTSODONTIS (gk), 3.Leslie DOUMBALIS, 4.John LAZARIDIS, 5.Daniel VASILEVSKI, 7.Reuben WAY, 9.Kostas KANAKARIS, 10.Jack PETRIE, 11.Mark McGOUGH, 12.Ken ATHIU, 13.Luke BYLES, 14.Andreas GOVAS, 15.Milos ILIC, 16.Angel TARAVILLO, 17.Steven PACE, 18.Andrija ROKSANDIC, 19.Dean JANCEVSKI, 20.Nejc KOLMAN, 21.Kostas KATSOURANIS, 22.Kaine SHEPPARD, 23.Griffin McMASTER (gk), 24.Andrew CARTANOS, 27.Jovan DURKIC, 33.Anthony PRESLJAK

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Mahmut Ali EYIGUN, 3.Aaron HUGHES, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 8.Aaron MOOY, 10.Robert KOREN, 11.Michael ZULLO, 13.Jordan HALL, 15.Stefan ZINNI, 17.Wade DEKKER, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Matthew MILLAR, 20.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 27.Callum RICHARDSON, 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 30.Hernan ESPINDOLA

 

PERTH GLORY (WA) ​​VS​​ WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS (NSW)

Two relatively new sides will meet at Perth’s Dorrien Gardens for this quarter-final, with Perth Glory hosting Western Sydney. The Glory and the Wanderers both underwent major squad overhauls over the off-season, so this clash presents another opportunity for fans to get a look at their new signings.

Perth have still lost only once in the short history of the FFA Cup, impressive given they have played the maximum amount of games possible over the two campaigns. Kenny Lowe’s side may be stacked with fresh faces, but the desire to reconcile last season’s Cup final defeat seems to have remained with the playing group. Perth’s two wins have come via tense, low-scoring matches which have both required extra-time (one of the clashes having been decided on penalties). That extra match practice coupled with an ability to prevail in tough situations should see the side from the west enter as favourites.

The Wanderers have produced little fuss so far in the FFA Cup, having knocked out two Queensland based sides in Brisbane Roar and Palm Beach. The Asian Champions have seemingly followed the path of Adelaide United in pursuit of Cup success, having signed a number of Spaniards over the off-season including Dimas and Andreu. But perhaps most excitingly for Western Sydney is the acquisition of Dario Vidosic, a player of immense talent who has fallen out of the national team picture following a stint in Switzerland. This match is the first chance for Tony Popovic to utilise the classy Vidosic in what should be an enthralling contest.

​​​​​​PLAYERS TO WATCH

1. Ante Covic: The heart and soul of the Wanderer’s first three seasons was dumped in unceremonious circumstances following the side’s poor 2014-15 campaign. The goalkeeper finds himself in Perth colours this year, with his first assignment against his former teammates.

2. Scott Jamieson: A player who has moved the other way between the two clubs is left-back Jamieson. Having been a standout in Perth’s disallowed run to the finals, the Wanderers were quick to sign a player of immense A-League experience to cover the loss of Antony Golec (who has coincidentally, like Covic, switched to Perth).

3. Dario Vidosic: The last two A-League seasons have seen James Troisi and Nathan Burns return to Australia and reignite their careers in both the A-League and the national team. Vidosic, having been a promising young talent in the league’s early years, returns in much the same mould. At 27 he finds himself at a crossroads, so will be eager to perform for his new club.

4. Richard Garcia: The former Socceroo returned to his home city of Perth last season following stints at numerous clubs, both in the A-League and abroad. At 34 years of age he appears unlikely to move on again, which was seemingly confirmed when appointed captain mid-week. Will be desperate for success as he enters the twighlight of his career.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Dorrien Gardens, West Perth (WA)

Kick-off: 6:30pm local (8:30pm AEST)

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Assistant Referee 1Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick

Fourth Official: Matthew Southern

AAR 1: Adam Fielding

AAR 2: David Bruce

 

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

Online Broadcast: Streamed online at www.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemand and Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvWSW

Perth Glory squad: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Jacob COLLARD, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Gyorgy SANDOR, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Hagi GLIGOR, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Guyon FERNANDEZ, 21.Stefan VALENTINI, 22.Slobodan VULIN, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Gian ALBANO, 30.Jordan THURTELL (gk)

 Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Romeo CASTELEN, 8.Dimas DELGADO, 9.Federico PIOVACCARI, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Alberto AGUILAR, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.Jacob PEPPER, 32.Daniel ALESSI, 33.Josh MACDONALD, 36.Liam YOULLEY

Willem van Denderen

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